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Banded Demoiselle

Banded Demoiselle

These beautiful Demoiselles are the largest of our native damselflies. The males have a dark blue-green metallic body and dark blue coloured patches on their wings. It is a large damselfly with a total length of up to 48 mm (1.9 in) and a wing length of up to 36 mm (1.4 in). The female has translucent, pale green iridescent wings with a white patch near the tip and a metallic green body. She can lay up to 10 eggs per minute for 45 minutes (450). They lay in a wide variety of emergent or floating plants, sometimes even submerging to do so. Males are usually territorial, but large numbers can sometimes be found in lush bank-side plants and on floating objects. They are easily identified because they resemble butterflies with their gentle, fluttering flight. They court females by opening their wings and performing an aerial dance. You can usually find the Banded Demoiselle around slow moving areas of water and they are very sensitive to pollution so their presence is often an indicator of good water quality. They are on the wing throughout June and July and often into August and it is when they fly in the sunshine that you can see the stunning blue shimmer. The Banded Demoiselle is a Eurasian species and is present throughout Eurasia from the Atlantic coast to the northwest of China. They are also found throughout the UK and Ireland.